The Best Ski Resorts are in Vermont

December 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Restaurants, Skiing

skiing in Stowe vermont
Photo: Courtesy of Stowe Mountain Resort.

According to Ski Magazine readers, Vermont has some of the best ski resorts in the US and even in North-America, whether you are looking for downhill skiing or cross-country ski or simply want to enjoy great après-ski and dining. In each of these categories, Vermont ski resorts are making Ski Magazine’s list of the “Top 10 Ski Resorts”. And others have also recognized Vermont ski resorts as… some of the best! (See where they are all located on this map of Vermont ski resorts).

Top 10 ski resorts for après-ski (Ski Magazine)
For the best après-ski, Ski Magazine readers selected 2 Vermont ski resorts in the top 10.
Here is their “top 10” list:
1. Aspen Mountain, Colorado
2. Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
3. Heavenly, California
4. Killington, Vermont
Killington truly has a number of fun places to enjoy after a long day of skiing: the Mahogany Ridge bar at the K-1 Lodge, the Long Trail Pub at the Snowshed Lodge, and the Bear Mountain Lounge at the Bear Mountain Lodge, the Wobbly Barn or the Lookout Tavern. Lots to choose from. And for the very best BBQ, our personal choice is The Back Behind Saloon on route 4 and 100 S.
5. Tremblant, Quebec
7. Park City, Utah
8. Breckenridge, Colorado
9. Whiteface, New York
10. Stowe, Vermont
There is definitely an established tradition of bar hopping after a day of skiing at the Stowe Mountain Resort. There is even a name for it: it’s the “Mountain Road Crawl”! You start by warming up and having a drink at the Fireside Tavern right at the mountain, then drive down the road a little and stop at the Matterhorn Bar. Pool tables, music and great food (appetizers, pizza, etc.) are all there for you. The bar also has a dance floor. Then, The Shed and the Rusty Nail are further down the road. The Rusty Nail also has a great space and pool tables upstairs. Lots of places for lots of fun! And to make sure to stay safe, take advantage of the shuttle which will take you from one bar to another, yep, no kidding!

Top 10 ski resorts for dining (Ski Magazine)
For dining, Stowe is ranking number 10. A very respectable score. Indeed, the whole road from the Mountain to Stowe village and to Waterbury has restaurants of all kinds and all budgets, as well of course B&B and little inns. Some are fun and relaxed, some are fancy and gastronomic in quaint historic homes. We’ll just name a few: the Whip Bar & Grill, located in the Green Mountain Inn, the Blue Moon Café, the Swisspot (in town), the Cliff House Restaurant (at Mt. Mansfield), and Mr Pickwick’s at the Ye Olde England Inne. Waterbury is close as well and hosts some award-winning restaurants, such as Michael’s on the Hill, and Hen of the Wood (our previous article).

For your curiosity, here are Ski Magazine’s “top 10 ski resorts” for dining:
1. Aspen, Colorado
2. Deer Valley, Utah
3. Tremblant, Quebec
4. Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
5. Sun Valley, Idaho
6. Vail, Colorado
7. Park City, Utah
8. Beaver Creek, Colorado
9. Telluride, Colorado
10. Stowe, Vermont

Top 10 ski resorts for off-hill activities (Ski Magazine)
And when it comes to off-hill activities, it’s Smugglers’ Notch which is the favorite station in Vermont. Smugglers’ Notch has the FunZone for kids, video arcades, snow tubing, ice-skating at SmuggsCentral, massages, and more…

Ski Magazine’s top 10 list includes:
1. Whiteface Mountain, New York
2. Aspen Mountain, Colorado
3. Heavenly, California
4. Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
5. Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont
6. Park City, Utah
7. Tremblant, Quebec
8. Vail, Colorado
9. Breckenridge, Colorado
10. Deer Valley, Utah

Top 10 ski resorts for romantic cross-country skiers (that’s a niche!) (MSNBC – February 2006)
MSNBC has selected the Mountain Top Inn. The photos on its website seem fabulous… with the view on Chittenden Reservoir. We will have to check it out!

MSNBC’s top 10 list includes:
• Callaghan Country at Whistler, British Columbia
• Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, in Alberta
• Garland Resort in Lewiston, Michigan
• Lone Mountain Ranch at Big Sky, Montana
• Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York
• Mt. Washington Hotel at Bretton Woods, in New Hampshire
Mountain Top Inn in the town of Chittenden, Rutland County, Vermont
• Royal Gorge in Soda Springs, California
• Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop, Washington
• Vista Verde Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

And last but not least:
Top 10 ski resorts for family in New England (Family Ski Trips)
The Family Ski Trips website listed 6 Vermont ski resorts as the best ski resorts for family.
Wow, well done Vermont! And it’s nice to know that many of these ski resorts have timeshare rentals available through their owners which are spacious enough to fit the whole family comfortably.

Okemo, Vermont
For its lesson programs…
Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont
For the “most innovative instruction in snow country”, its beginners’ slopes on Morse Mountain, its kids’ ski camp and day care, and all the activities in the Village from the Fun Zone to snow tubing.
Stowe, Vermont
When the kids grow older: “your kids can night-ski while you dine at the European-style Cliff House” restaurant.
Killington/Pico, Vermont
For Bear Mountain which is dedicated to freeskiers and riders, with parks and pipes; for its Winter Adventure Center with snowshoeing, tubing and dog sledding; and for the less intimidating Pico resort. Killington also has several video arcades.
Suicide Six, Vermont
Ascutney, Vermont
Ascutney has a lot for kids of all ages: Young Olympians ski and ride camps for ages 4-12, and a Bumps Center for teens. Note that the Duckling Daycare will not be open this winter.

Other ski resorts in New England which made the list:
– Bretton Woods, NH
– Sunday River, ME
– Jiminy Peak, MA and
– Sugarloaf, ME

On that note, I hope we’ll see you this winter in Vermont… on our mountains or off the slopes. The snow is already here waiting for you.
Related article: 2009 Best Ski Resorts and Ski Hotels

Snow Tubing: Where to Go?

February 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Outdoors

Snow tubing
Snow tubing is a really fun winter activity, not only for kids but truly for the whole family. There are a few places in Vermont where you can enjoy sliding down in those inflatable tubes. Following popular demand, we have decided to give you a complete listing of the spots where you can enjoy snow tubing in Vermont. We are listing hours of operation, but you may want to check the websites, particulary early in the season to make sure they are open, or check special hours of operation during holiday periods. Note also that some websites are listing places which actually don’t offer snow tubing, such as Killington, Stratton, Stowe and the White House Inn. In some cases, they used too… but don’t anymore. And now… dress warm, get out… and enjoy snow tubing!

Northern Vermont

Smugglers’ Notch Resort
Smugglers’ Notch, VT
Sir Henry’s Hill is the place for snow tubing at Smuggler’s Notch – only available to guests of the resort however. It is included in the Club Smugglers’ Advantage Package.
Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
No ski boots.
Mon- Wed- Fri-Sat: 5-8 pm
More information at: Smugglers’ Notch Resort snow tubing

Central Vermont

Okemo Mountain
Ludlow, VT
New 4-lane snow tubing park, located off the magic carpet in the courtyard at Jackson Gore.
Minimum requirements: children must be at least 42” of height; children under 18 must have parental signature; waiver to participate
Mon and Fri: 3-5 pm
Sat: 3-6 pm
Extended hours during February vacation.
$9 for 1 hour. Tickets can be purchased after 2:30 pm. Chance that it can sell out, due to high popularity!
More information at: Okemo Mountain activities 

Southern Vermont

Grafton Ponds
Townshend Road, Grafton, VT
One of the best snow tubing spots in Vermont with its 600-foot slope!
Your own tubes are not allowed.
Open daily from 9 am to 4 pm
$15 for 2 hours
More information at: Grafton Ponds

Magic Mountain
Londonderry, VT
Tubing runs at the Alakazam tube park.
We are in contact with the ski resort for more information. 
Website: Magic Mountain

Mount Snow
Tubing Park is located in front of the Grand Summit Hotel in the Main Base Area
West Dover, VT 05356
Weather and conditions permitted.
Spaces limited. First come, first serve.
No ski boots.
Fri: 2:30-8 pm
Sat-Sun: 10:30 am to 4 pm
Check schedules for holidays.
$20 per session
More information at: Mount Snow – snow tubing

For location, consult our Vermont map of ski resorts.